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Local artists send uplifting message of inclusivity with street mural

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

At the back of Te Manawa, along Church Street, a mural with splashes of colours and a positive message is about to turn heads.

Displaying a message of inclusivity, the street art was created by about 40 local artists and community members. The slogan, "we are all artists", is emblazoned on the wall. Alongside it is more words, patterns and illustrations which symbolise connections, collaboration and creativity.

Te Manawa’s NOA Open Art Studio and the Council have teamed up for this project. It is a spin-off from NOA’s PasteUp! project last year, which had artists spelling out the same slogan through their own art and pasting it to UCOL’s wall.

This year, they intend to make a bigger and bolder statement by painting the wall behind Te Manawa.

NOA Open Art Studio facilitator Mirjam De Oude says they want the installation to inspire people to start making art.

"We believe that there’s an artist in everyone. People can express it any way they want to. Aside from visual arts, it’s also about the art of living: making connections and having conversations."

Local artist Kelly Jarvis facilitated a workshop among the participants to help conceptualise the design. Beyond the group’s kaupapa, the design also reflects unity and solidarity. Words like "we’re brothers and sisters" and "connected" are also painted on the wall.

PNCC Arts Coordinator Gillian Tasker says the mural is a welcome addition to the city’s street art collection.

"We’re delighted to see people of all ages and abilities co-creating to make this mural happen."

NOA Open Art Studio runs drop-in sessions at the Te Manawa foyer every Wednesday and Thursday. This is open for anyone interested in arts and attracts a diverse group of people-from local artists and students to people with disabilities and senior citizens.

The installation will be officially unveiled tomorrow, Wednesday, 17 April at 11am. It will stay up until a next mural is planned for Te Manawa’s ever-changing wall, which is dedicated to works of emerging street artists.

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